What is delivery management?

For any business providing goods, delivery management is one of the last and arguably most important steps in the supply chain and customer satisfaction journey. Not being able to get the product to the customer in a way that feels transparent and speedy to them, is no longer an option in today’s market.
Anna Tsaturyan

Anna Tsaturyan

July 15, 2020

Typically, responsibility for delivery management sits with the dispatch or logistics manager in the supply chain. As expert coordinators, they bring together the elements that lead to customers receiving products in time and in good order, ranging from scheduling transport, collection at distribution points, and determining routes— a mammoth task even under optimal circumstances.

Delivery management, therefore, requires constant revision, adjustment, and improvement. One of the tools at their disposal is route optimization software.

Route Optimization

1 driver, a specified range, 150 packages, 1-2-hour delivery windows, real-time events…in all this, trying to meet and exceed customer experiences is a challenge. Now, throw into that mix a truck breaking down, a sudden storm, unexpected road closures, or a traffic accident, and the result could be chaotic and overwhelming to the delivery driver and disruptive to the customer.

In recent years, customer expectations have increased exponentially. With the explosion of e-commerce and delivery options, staying competitive is tough. This is where route optimization comes to the rescue. Route optimization is achieved by algorithms that determine the quickest and most direct route to take given a number of stops and incorporates real-time events, adjusting and optimizing on the go. The driver is kept up to date, as are his customers and his base of operations. On-time delivery increases which means customer needs are met and satisfaction rates go up.

The other benefit of route optimization lies in the improvement of process and thereby services. Not only does it achieve a better result on the day, but having the opportunity to review past routes, traffic flows, driver stopping points, etc. provides valuable insight into operations as a whole. There might be a repeated delay at a certain distribution point or a traffic hotspot that can be avoided.

Up to date information and transparency offers a more effective solution to common problems delivery drivers face. With real-time updates available at the touch of a button, drivers are kept in the loop on changes outside of their control but that can be avoided, thereby improving performance and quality.

Greener routes, healthier world

The impact of the rise in online shopping has huge consequences for the number of vehicles on the road, traffic congestion, and carbon dioxide emissions. According to a report by the World Economic Forum (2020), over the next decade, there could be an over 30% rise in pollution with average commute times climbing by 10+ minutes due to traffic issues, unless there is a significant intervention with current delivery processes. Ultimately, the goal of delivery management and route optimization is to save costs and make deliveries more efficient.

Lower mileages, less fuel, and vehicle usage and increased delivery capacity all lead to improved outcomes to the bottom line and customer relations. Reductions of 3-20% on mileage and driver costs have been noted using effective systems. Environmentally speaking, millions of tons of CO2 emissions are avoided which makes a remarkable difference in cities where pollution is problematic.

The future

The next phase in deliveries could include a switch to electric-only vehicles to create a cleaner solution or possibly the use of drones in accessible areas, to reduce traffic and emissions. Whatever the future holds in store for delivery management, the key game-changers will be route optimization and transparency. From A to B, customers want to track their product, be kept up to date, and have up to the minute information at their disposal at all times.

Are you looking to improve or scale your delivery operations? Feel free to contact us, we'd love to hear what you're up to!

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